6 months to improve

Hi everyone.

I recently failed to pass the AOSB last weeks. I just got my report and have decided that I want to go back in 6 months and give it another shot.

To summarise my report, everything was fine except for two key areas of testing, the outdoor tasks and the planex. In the outdoor tasks I didn’t manage to give a great impression of myself finding that I lacked the confidence that other group members had in quickly coming in up with solutions to the problems. I also lacked the practical knowledge to make a really useful contribution. Despite this I got stuck in and didn’t give up. I found that on day 3 when we did the command tasks and it came to my turn I was able to come up with a decent plan no problem, and so I think the problem was a confidence issue (with outdoor testing, not self confidence) rather than a problem with my intellect.

The other area I failed to shine in was in the planex. The problem here was that I spent the weeks prior to the board worrying about my mental arithmetic when in fact this is the easy part. I should have denoted much more time to understanding the modus operandi and getting used to practical problem solving under pressure.

Anyway my sponsor has told me to give it another go so long as I think I will be able to improve in these areas in 6 months. I think that I can. I read a previous post where a guy talked about going on a Rayleigh International expedition and attending some sort of outdoor pursuits centre. These seem to be the sort of things I need to be doing if I want to improve enough to pass.

I am just wondering if anyone else has any other useful advise as to how I might go about improving in these areas? :D
You don't say how old you are but I'll assume you're a graduate. I can only suggest that you have not been sufficiently exposed to practical problem solving and planning conceptually therefore. I would suggest that you should join the TA which will help with the practical aspects of doing and living. You will also be able to observe practitioners, officers and S/JNCOs, getting on with the tasks in hand.

You could also join a club or organisation and get involved in planning and behind the scenes organisation. It is all good broadening stuff which will help with the planning exercises. Spend some time thinking about big projects or reading military history of the logistics/planning kind. It will help open your mind to the nuances of planning even if it can sometimes close your eyes for sleep!

If you aren't any good at this sort of thing at present, Raleigh will not recruit you sadly. If you are still at/leaving school then I suggest that you consider some form of Outward Bound/Raleigh type project as a candidate rather than DS.
I just graduated just last week and am 21. The TA sounds great but im not sure how happy they would be if they knew I was joining with the intention of moving on to be a regular officer??
First of all dds well done for wanting to give it another crack. I too failed the first time on exactly the same, the Plan ex and the outdoor stuff. I personally got phased out by the plan ex and drew a great map but just didn't have time to make a feasible plan. On the command tasks I bottled it, and again flapped and couldn't see a plan.

Afterwards though I realised that it didn't kill me and it didn't make me pregnant, in fact I really enjoyed the week. I went back 6 months later knowing what to expect and that I'd enjoy it. I stayed relaxed and let the true me shine through after all if the true me wasn't up to it then I'd rather know now than at Sandhurst or worse on ops!

There was a couple of us in my group coming back for a second attempt and we both passed, keep on top of everything and perhaps see if you can do more project/planning/problem solving stuff in your current job role. If you haven't already get yourself on a few FAM visits to get more military type experience (apparently the RLC one is good as you do a few command type tasks) and finally don't lose faith in yourself.

Good luck with it.


ddds said:
I just graduated just last week and am 21. The TA sounds great but im not sure how happy they would be if they knew I was joining with the intention of moving on to be a regular officer??
I would have suggested joining the TA or OTC when you started your degree but I don't think you'll get what you're looking for in 6 months as a recruit - in fact the likelihood is that you wouldn't be able to start training for a couple of months anyway.

I think the best advice is to do some kind of outward bound course or expedition which will expose you to practical problem solving. There are plenty around if you look.
ddds said:
I just graduated just last week and am 21. The TA sounds great but im not sure how happy they would be if they knew I was joining with the intention of moving on to be a regular officer??
On the contrary, I would imagine you would get the most support from a TA unit. If you are open, honest and up front with them then any unit worth it's salt will seek to encourage and develop you.

I'd also suggest you leave it more than 6 months: setting yourself a longer-term goal would give you the chance to really earn valuable life experience and self-confidence.
Thanks for the tips guys. I have realised that I wont be able to start at Sandhurst until the May 2008 intake anyway, and so 6 months isn't really a definate deadline. I'm speaking to my sponsor today so hopefully he will have some tips.
Wedgy I felt the same afterwards too. Had a great time and met some good chaps. In the outdoor tasks on day two I felt out of my depth and knew I hadn't given the best impression of myself. The result was that that night I said to myself I have my work cut out if I want to pass. Unfortunately the planex didn't go as well as it was supposed to. At least I know what areas I need to work on now.
I've done four Outward Bound courses, including one in which I learnt ice axe and crampon skills for use in winter environments. Outward Bound run a course called the Highland Rover which is three weeks treking through the mountains of Scotland. You'll use canoes, kayaks and spend every night out under the stars. You collect food every few days and they send professional mountaineers out to meet you and help you climb a mountain (I've done the NW ridge of Ben Nevis!).

If you want experience, do the Highland Rover as it will be the best experience of your life. I'm in the TA and nothing I've done in the TA has ever come remotely close to highland rover.

Highland Rover

Try doing the winter ice axe skills as well - it all adds up and will count in your favour.

Another idea - try working holidays with the National Trust. Apart from being tremendous fun, they're also very very cheap for a weeks work somewhere.

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